A recent study presented at The American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in New York earlier this month shows that there appears to be a correlation between internet addiction and mental health problems. Although internet addictions are not considered a diagnosable disorder, adults see the behaviors and the potential problems emerging.
Dr. Jadapalle, a psychiatry resident at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta Georgia, claimed that “the prevalence of Internet Addiction Disorder among American youth is about 26.3%.”
The important issue here is how spending large amounts of our lives in front of computer screens affects our cognitive functions, physical and mental health, and social relationships.
The term “continuous partial attention” was invented to describe the constant attentional shifts that make building a better quality of focus possible. The value of teaching focusing skills can be a great help in this regard.
The effects of the internet and the heavy reliance on our smart phones is producing changes in how we think, feel and relate. It is certainly changing how we use our brains: why bother to memorize much anymore when you can use your phone as an external heard drive for your brain?
It is still too early to try to figure out all the effects of technology on our lives but it is definitely affecting our lives and relationships.
Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D., LMFT
Adapted from an article by Dr. M. Yapko
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